DOM Cultural Center

25 January 2007

Empty Hills Festival
NAGUAL (Minsk, Belarus)
GURZUF (Minsk, Belarus)
ELEFANT (Voscow)

A lot of cultures live inside us and, as a matter of fact, each of us is a migrant. We do not stay long in one place. We are in constant motion, covering either large or small distances. It is this motion, this changeability and relativity of our knowledge that the band NAGUAL seeks to reflect in its creative work.

Our ensemble came into being in the winter of 2000. There are six main musicians in it. We study the roots of music, modern genres, formation of folk cultures, the relations between people – everything that directly concerns our creative work. We create sound by means of the instruments we have chosen, their unusual combination, and our own emotional experience. The instruments range from exclusively-archaic to classical ones:

Alexei Derevo Kul’pin – bass guitar, vocals;
Anaka Shaposhnikova – dulcimer, vocals, djembe, vargan (Jew’s-harp), banbor, spinning wheel;
Leonid Pavlyonok – vocals, dance, snare drum, guitar, elkin nos, djembe, didgeridoo, kuhicly, zhaleyka, hlyak (earthenware jar);
Victor Semashko – clarinet, flute, tambourine, pipe;
Egor Zabelov – bayan, vocals;
Anna Pigas – vocals.

The musicians from NAGUAL create all the songs they perform themselves. The songs are based on world folk musical culture and relations between a person and the world.
The song may be diverse: an amusing or sad one, with a clear subject or abstract, wild, absurd. What really matters is that the song is to go farther than the point we are at. We let each song develop its own way, that is, after something small appears, it begins to develop and takes its shape during the concerts, just the way authentic folklore does, in accordance with its own objective laws. The song takes from life everything it lacks for its integrity.
This musical phenomenon is Psycho-folk in which the personal is combined with the common.
The manner of singing is both primitively-pristine and post-modernistic, it being an intricate combination of the phonemes from various groups of languages with the sounds of animate and inanimate nature and psychophysiological processes.
The meaning of such creative work is to make people astonished with the world; it is a kind of a biostimulant, an ability to experience emotions and to express them freely.

During five years we took part in more than 250 concerts (solo and together with other groups and musicians) in such countries as Belarus, Russia, Poland, and Lithuania. We participated in various charitable actions for orphan children and for physically challenged people, in international and local festivals; we played in Chinese tea-houses, at art exhibitions and punk-parties; we appeared on television and radio as well as created surreal performances (butoh dance, presenting people with hay, roller-skating, magic wood-chopping, etc) and street impromptus.
We shared the stage with: “Knyaz’ Myshkin” (free music, Minsk, Belarus), “Virus Likha” (ska, reggae, Minsk, Belarus), “Glupyi Belyi” (reggae romance, Moscow, Russia), Ol’ga Aref’eva (Russian rock, reggae, Moscow, Russia), “Kirpichi” (the very “Kirpichi” from St.-Petersburg, Russia), “Drobinska” (Balkan folk music, St.-Petersburg – Moscow, Russia), “Kosti” (rock psychedelic, Gdaсsk, Poland), “Yur’ya” (folk-rock music, Minsk, Belarus) and mmmmany more…

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works with a support of Ford Foundation